July 30 (UPI) -- The Utah Jazz rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 106-104 in the first game of the NBA's 22-team restart Thursday in Orlando, Fla.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who was the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, drained two free throws with 6.9 seconds remaining to push his team ahead by two. Utah clinched the win after Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram's potential game-winning 3-pointer rimmed out, spoiling his 23-point outing.
Pelicans standout rookie Zion Williamson, who missed almost two weeks of practice after leaving the NBA's bubble for an urgent family medical matter, was cleared to play, although his playing time was limited. He recorded 13 points and one assist in 15 minutes.
Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 23 points in 32 minutes off the bench, helping lead the team's second-half comeback. Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley each added 20, while Gobert finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in 34 minutes.
Pelicans sharpshooter J.J. Redick scored 21 points, including a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game at 102 late in the fourth. Jrue Holiday chipped in 20 points, and Josh Hart had 10 points, three boards and one assist in 22 minutes.
Thursday night's matchup between the Jazz and Pelicans was the league's first game back since play was halted in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before the NBA's return, players, coaches and the three referees taking part in the game took a knee during the national anthem in protest of social injustice.
Players from both teams wore shirts that had "Black Lives Matter" written on the front as they stood behind the words "Black Lives Matter" on the court.
"I respect our teams' unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
In the second game Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers also kneeled along the sideline close to the "Black Lives Matter" logo on the court. Some players from both of the games also played in jerseys with social justice messages of their choosing in place of their last names.